By: Sidima Mfeku
Port Elizabeth- A HopOn transport service aimed at assisting Nelson Mandela University students connect between this university’s Summerstrand campuses has been launched.
Post graduate student Sive Mngcele launched the intra campus transportation system “HopOn” at the Nelson Mandela University on Monday. With the help of various other stake holders including Enactus, the Memeza campaign, the department of student governance and development and the university’s SRC, Sive saw his four year old vision come to life. Students will be transported around the two campuses: North and South at a cost of R3.50 per ride from point A to B.
Mngcele said that the system tries to provide and, to its great ability, affirm safety on campus. He described the service as an on the ground safety extension especially in the evening where students are walking from their residences to study centres or computer laboratories. This project does not only seek to provided convenience solely to the students, it also resonates with NMU’s ecological values. “In terms of fuel consumption and carbon emissions, HopOn produces far less carbon emissions to the atmosphere than normal vehicles and is considered a green technology” Mngcele confirmed. He said that they appreciate the fact that NMU is a nature reserve and that they had to come up with a service that is conscious of the ecological impact of carbon emissions in such environments.
The execution of the HopOn project has brought to the sight of Mngcele and others the fact that the institution does not have a definitive office or help desk responsible for student entrepreneurship matters. He said that they acknowledge the efforts of the university in trying to empower the youth about entrepreneurship and that they eventually had the help they needed to make this project a reality. He also metioned that they did not have the start up capital and that they are self-funded. All the expenditures of the project come from their personal pockets with no financial assistance from anyone. Mngcele and his group have employed a student to benefit from the project as an employee driving the HopOn vehicle.
The motivation and drive for the success of the project comes with a great amount of experience from student problems and challenges Mngcele and his co-partners have come across, he stated that they got the courage to make this project come true from seeing the impact of being disadvantaged as a student due to how the study environment is conducted. He said that they came to realise that the university would not be able to provide solutions to all of the problems the student came across, he said that students must work on finding innovative ways to find solutions to some of the challenges they face. “People need to try and tap into new and different avenues to bring about life to the dream and vision at heart”, he added.
The HopOn service will officially begin operations on the 23rd of July 2017 and times will be confirmed via the institutions MEMO emails and on Madibaz Radio.